Hot problems?

David Parsons, Kiwa Gastec, looks at heat metering – a major stumbling block to RHI applicants


Offering 20 years’ worth of financial support to owners with eligible installations, many are looking to the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to underpin growth in renewable technologies. The government, however, can be viewed as presenting conflicting messages on RHI. Reducing tariffs, and providing a standby budget, are presumably intended to avoid a repeat of the embarrassment with the Feed-in-Tariff (FiTs), when entrepreneurs led a higher than expected take-up. Conversely, however, Ofgem reports a bottle-neck in RHI accreditations due to the vast majority of first time applications being rejected due to significant flaws.

Apart from inconsistent, incomplete and confusing supporting information, Ofgem suggests that proposed heat metering schemes have been a major stumbling block for applicants.  Clearly part of this is government sensitivity to potential RHI abuse. Could ministers be losing sleep over the possibility of investigative journalists chasing an “Our taxes going to fund waste of renewable heat” story?

In my role as head of training and assessment at Kiwa GASTEC at CRE (KGC),  what we are lacking is a completely independent advisor for all parties involved in the RHI. Having been involved in reporting to government on the technical practicalities of RHI roll out, as well as providing independent assessment reports to successful RHI applicants with complex sites, we have broad experience and no conflict of interest issues.

Instead of a formal consultancy approach, RHI applications should be more D.I.Y. KGC has announced a half-day workshop “Heat Metering for the RHI – Get it Right First Time” to provide essential best practice guidance on the selection of the most appropriate meter, the correct location of heat meters, data collection and handling techniques and site specific considerations.